GLOVERSVILLE — The 5th Annual Gloversville Christmas Parade is set to step off at 7 p.m. Saturday night and organizer Ryan Lorey said the parade has grown bigger and better every year.
Lorey, who owns the Fulton County Area News facebook page, credits the enduring success of the parade, this year featuring six divisions and approximately 100 parade entries, in part to the power of social media.
"As far as I know, there was never a Christmas Parade in Gloversville when I was growing up — I don't remember anyone talking about one, so it's been a lot of fun establishing the tradition," Lorey said. "There's 52,000 people connected to my facebook page, I make a post to it asking who wants to be in the parade, and before I know it the parade comes and it's just packed, between the amount of people who are in it and the people who are watching it, and it's all done through facebook."
Some of the many parade participants include: The Romano Acro Dance Academy, the Ambulance Service of Fulton County, Miss Upstate New York 2019 Heather Graves, the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts, the band Flame, the Gloversville Police and Fire departments, Twin City Twisters & Kids in Motion, as well as other professional and volunteer fire department units from throughout Fulton and Montgomery Counties and many other private and public entity floats.
An updated list of parade participants will be included in the Dailygazette.com online version of this story.
Lorey said coordinating the parade is both a passion and a privilege for him.
"I find it's very rewarding, you put the work into it and then you see it form into the parade the day off. For the four prior years we've had thousands of people come out for it, and I plan to keep doing it as long as I'm able," he said.
Lorey said the main cost of putting on the parade comes from having to purchase insurance for the event, which he said is typically several hundred dollars. He said insurance for the 2019 Gloversville Christmas Parade comes from Julie Glover of the Glover Insurance Agency at 38 N. Main Street, one of the major sponsors of the event.
This year's Gloversville Christmas Parade will feature its youngest-ever grand marshall, 12-year-old Bella Romano who will be walking at the head of the parde with newly elected Gloversville Mayor Vince DeSantis and Assemblyman Robert Smullen, R-Johnstown. Bella Romano is the daughter of Jessica Romano, owner of the Romano Acro Dance Academy which for the last three years has been involved with the Salvation Army Toy Drive, one of the major partners of the parade. Jessica Romano said each parade entry donated one new, unrapped toy to the toy drive.
"Our (Romano Acro Dance Academy studio building) actually houses the toys that we collect, and then we divide them out to all of our community children," Jessica Romano said.
Lorey said Bella Romano was chosen as the grand marshall for this year's parade because of the amount of work she did to help the toy drive.
Bella Romano, who attends the Mayfield Central School District, said it was during last year's toy drive that she developed a passion for participating in the activity, seeing the effect it had on local children and families.
"This year I got to talk to some of the local businesses, so that's been my favorite part, getting to hear what they think about it," she said. "It's been an honor. It makes me feel good, like in my heart, speaking with and donating toys to families."
The Romano Acro Dance Academy will lead the first division for the parade. Jessica Romano said her dance studio has 21 competitive team dancers who will be "channeling" the Radio City Rockettes, as seen in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
"They're going to be dressed in a classical Rockette costume, and we're going to be dancing to one of the Rockefeller Center songs that the Rockettes have actually used in the past," she said.
Line Up on N. Main St. starting at W. Eighth Ave. Please enter coming from 11th Avenue
• Gloversville Police Department
• New York State Police
• News 10 Storm Tracker
• Gloversville Mayor Vince Desantis & NYS Assemblyman Robert Smullen with Grand Marshal Bella Romano and Parade Sponsor Julie Glover of the Glover Insurance Agency
• The Romano Acro Dance Academy
• Ambulance Service of Fulton County
• Empire Ambulance of the capital region
• The Salvation Army of Fulton County, NY
• Fulton County Emergency Services Director Steve Santa Maria
• Johnstown Fire Department
• Gloversville DPW
• Gloversville Transit System
• Fulton County Coroner Margaret Luck & Deputy Coroner Sherry Brown
• Fulton County Highway Department
• National Grid
Line Up on W. Tenth Ave. starting at N. Main St. Please enter from Foster St.
• High Performance Dance Center
• High Rollers Skating
• 4X Heaven
• First Choice Financial Federal Credit Union
• Miss Fonda Fair Pageant
• Mountain Valley Hospice
• Berkshire Volunteer Fire Department
• Many Happy Adventures Daycare & C&C Auto
• The Pig Rig – Traveling Therapy Pigs
• Fulton Center (two vehicles)
• Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Department
• Maple Avenue Yard
• Perth Volunteer Fire Company
• Gloversville Free Methodist Church
• Waldron's Sharpening & Small Engine Repair
• Glen Ridge Motor Sports Park Pace Car
• Sir William Johnson Volunteer Fire Department
Line Up on E. Ninth Ave. starting at N. Main St. Please enter coming from Glenwood or Burlington Avenues
• Highlights Performing Arts Gymnastics & Dance
• Gloversville Glamour Girl Society
• Foothills PTECH
• Boulevard Fifth Grade Band
• Pleasant Square Volunteer Fire Department
• Brownie & Daisy Troop #2080 of Hamilton County
• Gloversville Schools Drama Clubs
• R-G-L Volunteer Fire Department
• Search Team 5-1
• Little Giants Majorettes
• Gloversville Little League
• Frontier Girls Quest Troop 340
• Fulton County YMCA Flying Fish Swim Team
• S&G Medical Transport
• Neighborhoods Against Drugs
• Girl Scout Service Unit 205
• Miss Queen City of the Hudson Pageant
• Meco Volunteer Fire Company
Line Up on W. Ninth Ave. starting at N. Main St. Please enter using Wood Street
• Twin City Twisters & Kids in Motion
• Walmart Transportation #6896 - Tractor Trailer
• DHL (float)
• Don Brown Bus Sales
• Town of Mohawk Volunteer Fire Department
• Fox Run Golf Club
• Ruby & Quiri
• Vintage Camper Share
• Log Cabin Church
• Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts
• Lexington ARC
• FLAME The Band
• Mayfield Volunteer Fire Department
• D&N Trucking of Corinth, NY
• Wing Champ Race Series
• The Family Counseling Center
• 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers at Nathan Littauer Hospital
• Sabor Flavor LLC
• Nick Stoner Trailers
• Tayor Made
• Richmond Light Spectacular
• Fultonville Volunteer Fire Department
Line Up on W. Eighth Ave. starting at N. Main St. Please enter from Bleecker Street
• Miss Upstate New York 2019 Heather Graves
• Udderly Delicious
• Nethaway's Towing
• Fulton County Barbershop
• James Chevrolet
• RJ Tech
• Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Department
• Jumping Beans Bounce House Rentals
• Photography by Shawna Lee
• Mysticglendesigns Vinyl Designs
• Bleecker Street Church of Christ
• Mangino Chevrolet
• Lonely Customs 4X4
• Sammonsville Volunteer Fire Department
Line Up on E. Eighth Ave at N. Main St.
Please enter from Kingsboro Ave.
• Shooting Stars Dance Academy
• The Kwiatkowski Family escorted by Doug Gunnerson
• Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department
• Becker's Auto Salvage Inc.
• Northern Trails Glass Shop
• Gloversville Recreation Commission
• Horse Lovers 4H Club (Tammy Angus)
• North Pole Police
• Gloversville Fire Chief Tom Groff
• Santa escorted by the Gloversville Fire Department